Muni-Meters

Parking, Maintenance, and Such

Re: Muni-Meters

Postby Cheryl S » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:16 pm

Apologies for coming late to this discussion. I'm a strong advocate for free parking for all motorbikes parked in Muni-Meter zones in NYC. The vast majority of metered spaces in Manhattan are now controlled by Muni-Meters which produce a paper receipt. Metered zones in the other boros are following at a rapid rate. These Muni-Meters which we cannot use have been bought and paid for by NYC, and we're not likely to see them replaced any time soon. As is the practice in any other large city, NYC makes these purchases far in advance. At this time there are likely thousands of new Muni-Meters of the type we cannot use on order and scheduled to be installed in the next year or more. If a paperless Muni-Meter pilot program which we can use successfully is implemented it will be on a small scale. If we assume that the better meters will accommodate us and that they pass the pilot, only future installations will be this new type. The Muni-Meters that currently exist will be just as problematic for us as they always were, and they will remain in place until they age out. That will take years, and for the foreseeable future most of Manhattan will be a crap shoot for us re: metered parking.

There are larger issues at play than whether or not we have a secure dashboard upon which to display paper Muni-Meter receipts. Other cities grant free parking to motorbikes in Muni-Meter zones for a few reasons. Yes, in part they are acknowledging that it's problematic for us to use the Muni-Meters and that they didn't factor our vehicles into their initial models, but the meta discussion usually ends up centered on the environmental benefits of using our vehicles over cars. Other municipalities recognise that we're fuel efficient, congestion reducing, alternative transportation, and they wish to encourage and enable the use of motorbikes. I think it's vitally important for us to advocate for ourselves as alternative transportation. It's a common sentiment in other countries and cities. Why not NYC?

This two pronged argument can be broken down into very simple statements. We don't have a secure way to display the standard Muni-Meter paper receipt. NYCDOT does not supply a locking holder. We are instead expected to purchase the piece at an unfair extra cost to us, and it's not readily available regardless. We are fuel efficient... yadda..yadda, and our vehicles should be encouraged and enabled in NYC.

I feel strongly that the TF should have a unified and agreed upon Muni-Meter position, especially if we hope to raise awareness with any direct action. Right now we seem to be at an impasse with some of us on the 'give me free parking' side and others on the 'I'll be happy to pay for legal parking that accommodates me' side. We can synthesize these positions.

I propose that we advocate for free parking for all motorbikes in any zone controlled by the old Muni-Meters which require paper receipts. Assuming that the new, smart meters actually do accommodate us, we would then be happy to pay for parking at the appropriate rate to our size in zones controlled by them. I don't think we have anything to lose with this argument. We have always said we can't use Muni-Meters which require a paper receipt. This position acknowledges the real difficulties of using those meters while allowing us to advocate for smarter, size based parking fees which would also benefit us.
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Re: Muni-Meters

Postby Jillian » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:24 am

If int. 301 is passed by city council, allowing possession of a ticket to be a valid defense for munimeter violations, then as Jesse said in the last meeting, every meter maid will assume bikers have the receipt in our wallet and simply stop writing violations on bikes.

It's certainly a nice idea to have NYC encourage motorcycles, but in this legislative climate, I don't think anyone is going to get a free lunch. Remember, your quarters in the meter aren't the revenue source. It's the violations written when you don't put your quarters in that bring in the real money. NYC is never going to turn their back on ever ticketing motorcycles again.
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Re: Muni-Meters

Postby Cheryl S » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:09 am

Jillian wrote:If int. 301 is passed by city council, allowing possession of a ticket to be a valid defense for munimeter violations, then as Jesse said in the last meeting, every meter maid will assume bikers have the receipt in our wallet and simply stop writing violations on bikes.

It's certainly a nice idea to have NYC encourage motorcycles, but in this legislative climate, I don't think anyone is going to get a free lunch. Remember, your quarters in the meter aren't the revenue source. It's the violations written when you don't put your quarters in that bring in the real money. NYC is never going to turn their back on ever ticketing motorcycles again.


While it would make sense for traffic agents to assume that we all have the receipt in our pocket, I think it's a bad idea to assume that they will do something just because it makes sense. They have a quota to fulfill, and even if they know the ticket may be in someone's pocket, they will fulfill that quota by writing the ticket. That leaves it up to the rider to fight the ticket, which is another burden on us, and only us. Not to mention, many riders will simply run out of energy for this fight, and they might just capitulate and pay the fine even if they know better. And then there are riders who may not know their rights because they're not New Yorkers, or because their English sucks, or perhaps because they just never got the memo. There's no reason to say that it's OK to put an extra burden on any group, EVEN bikers.

I stressed the EVEN above because I believe that as riders we hold ourselves to a higher standard in many ways. We expect ourselves to be sharper in any traffic situation and we expect ourselves to be more resourceful. I think that spills over and causes us to expect to deal with more flack and to shrug our shoulder when we receive lesser treatment. The point of doing advocacy work is to remind others that we're at least equal, and that we won't settle for lesser treatment. Shrugging our collective shoulders and expecting to shoulder the extra burden of fighting tickets that we receive because the receipt must remain in our pocket due to NYC's failure to factor in the unique needs of our desirable vehicles, is the equivalent of saying that lesser treatment is OK with us.

Will the current climate support free parking for us? Well, I doubt it. The point of this is to go into the discussion with a rock solid argument about why we should have it, which raises awareness while undermining the current model of dealing with us. Which is to pretend that we don't exist. We may not win the fight simply because nothing can be free at this time in NYC, but if we walk in the door having already capitulated we have nowhere to go.
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Re: Muni-Meters

Postby Jillian » Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:10 pm

Cheryl S wrote:Will the current climate support free parking for us? Well, I doubt it.


I'm not terribly interested in wasting the TF's limited energies on pursuing doomed policy changes.

Cheryl S wrote: if we walk in the door having already capitulated we have nowhere to go.


Capitulation happens in bargaining. This is not bargaining; it is not two sides looking both to gain and not to lose too much. NYC has nothing to gain in this process.

We've been able to make good headway by making well-informed presentations with easily-implemented solutions. It happened with the motorcycle-only spots in Community Board 2. Yes, DOT is stonewalling the rest of the plan, but it was a legislative victory. City Councilman Garodnick's legal office has open ears for our legislative solutions. Why are some so convinced that we can't get another victory here?
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Re: Muni-Meters

Postby Cheryl S » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:11 pm

Jillian wrote:
Cheryl S wrote:Will the current climate support free parking for us? Well, I doubt it.


I'm not terribly interested in wasting the TF's limited energies on pursuing doomed policy changes.

Cheryl S wrote: if we walk in the door having already capitulated we have nowhere to go.


Capitulation happens in bargaining. This is not bargaining; it is not two sides looking both to gain and not to lose too much. NYC has nothing to gain in this process.

We've been able to make good headway by making well-informed presentations with easily-implemented solutions. It happened with the motorcycle-only spots in Community Board 2. Yes, DOT is stonewalling the rest of the plan, but it was a legislative victory. City Councilman Garodnick's legal office has open ears for our legislative solutions. Why are some so convinced that we can't get another victory here?


It's not always easy. Sometimes we have to fight for fair treatment, and I believe this is one of those times. This discussion about the content and approach to a meeting we might have with a City Councilmember is more appropriate to a Task Force meeting than to a public forum. Let's put this on the agenda for our upcoming August meeting.
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Parking Best Practices - City Planning - Transportation

Postby governmentdocuments » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:31 am

A review of zoning regulations and policies.

The City of Portland gives developers the option to reduce parking requirements if joint-use parking, bicycle parking or motorcycle parking is provided.

Parking Best Practices - NYC Department of City Planning - Transportation Division
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/transpo ... ctices.pdf
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Re: Muni-Meters

Postby Jusjih » Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:48 pm

I just found http://www.citybikerblog.com/2011/03/bi ... uni-meter/ showing how to fight any summonses for failure to display muni-meter receipt for any motorcycles based on incorrect vehicular descriptions. Cars registered in New York have barcoded registration stickers on the windshields to allow faster generations of summonses, but motorcycles do not have these large stickers, so the information has to be manually entered.

I have asked a few City police officers in Flushing Queens about parking motorcycles at Pay & Display. A policeman told me to "tape the payment receipt on the seat". Two other officers told me that they would not bother with parking motorcycles at Pay & Display unless observing other violations such as street cleaning, no valid registration, etc.

Technically I do not consider Pay & Display requirement enforceable toward motorcycles not required to have windshields. To serve everyone better, I am going to prepare a model statement of defense against any summonses for failure to display muni-meter receipts for motorcycles. Since New York City allows fighting summonses involving parking, red light cameras, and bus lane cameras online, by mail, and in person, per http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/parkin ... pute.shtml , never plead guilty at the first time to these summonses.
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DISCLAIMER: This post does not necessarily reflect the formal opinions of my participating organizations.
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Re: Muni-Meters

Postby Jillian » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:16 pm

FYI, all, Int 301 passed! The new law is thus: keep your receipt in your wallet, and if you get a summons, submit a copy of the receipt for automatic dismissal.

http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/LAWSS ... ARGET=VIEW

And a new tip sheet for Muni-Meter parking to boot:
Tip Sheet Muni-Meters.pdf
(48.73 KiB) Downloaded 250 times


Meanwhile, check out the thread on Int-0860, which would make Muni-Meters FREE for two-wheelers!
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